With star Bomber Dylan Shiel’s 150th AFL game nearing, the 26-year-old has taken the chance to reflect on his career to date.
Shiel’s milestone will come in the Bombers’ Tackling Childhood Cancer clash with North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The midfielder began his career as an underage recruit in the inaugural Greater Western Sydney AFL team, before being traded to Essendon ahead of the 2019 season.
Saturday’s game will be his 15th in the red and black and Shiel said his 150th game felt as though it had “crept” up on him.
“During the early years of the Giants it felt like it was going to be a long journey for guys to hit their milestones,” Shiel said on RSN on Thursday.
“If I am going to play 300 games, which hopefully I can, then I’m at the halfway point. I like to think that I have my best footy ahead of me.”
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Since arriving at the club, Shiel has become an important addition to the Bombers’ line-up averaging 27 disposals, five tackles and three marks in his 14 games.
On Essendon’s current playing list, only four other players have reached the significant milestone; David Zaharakis (201), Cale Hooker (187), Michael Hurley (175) and Dyson Heppell (165).
This weekend Shiel will join that elite group of Bombers, solidifying his position as one of the most experienced in the red and black.
“I’ve spent most of my career at the Giants labeled as young and talented, feeling that you have over 10 years of footy ahead of you,” Shiel said.
“We did an exercise in the midfield group the other day where we went from most senior player to the youngest in the group and I found myself in the space of a year going from a young mid to one of the older midfielders at Essendon.”
The important game will begin at 4:35pm on Saturday.